Dear Stranger: A Tale of 2 Strangers (Part I)

She was looking forward to break free.

He was dying to meet someone who could transport him to La La land. Bumping into soulmate like stranger happens only in movies.

She had enough of the drudgery and was unwilling to hear the word ROUTINE one more time. She did not have any wish of meeting a stranger.

Two different cities. 2 different souls imprisoned in this worldly mess of do’s and don’ts. Right and wrong.

All they could hear was the calling of their itinerant hearts.

Thankfully, some fresh vibes enter the picture today. And the surprise disruption reinvigorated their spirits. All thanks to a phone call at her mobile, which was supposed to be a wrong number.

Not all things right are wrong!!!

“Hello,” said a masculine voice, “is this”

“No this is not the person you are looking for so hang up and hang up fast” she growled.

“Wait a minute Madam, why are you so upset? Okay, I am sorry I dialed a wrong number but why are you bringing the house down?” He said with a slight dose of humor.

“I am bringing the house down? And what makes you think that? And why can’t you check and dial the right number? It’s your fault” she was irritated to the point of a nervous breakdown.

“Okay my fault, I take the full onus of it. Now you sit down and take deep breathe, calm yourself down. Do you know music therapy? Listen to soft numbers by Jagjit Singh or Ghulam Ali Sahab and your taut nerves will come under your control.”  He was enjoying this erratic behavior of this lady and somehow he visualized a woman who has lost her entity, her soul, her very being in this messy untrustworthy dodgy world of which he too was a victim.

The Story Begins…

This is how He and She started off, conversing, sharing deep dark secrets, and fantasies. Not all strangers are “dear stranger.”

With new aplomb, they set out to reach each other and chisel away their future with a steady application of force.

Paradoxically, everything seemed certain with the release of the tension and confiding in each other their buried tension.

She was a firework of self-expression making a mad dash towards him, who in turn was completely in grip of her infectious energy and got back to his teen days.

He was still restrained but after he heard the lady was relaxed enough to stand on her own soapbox as if her audience was her closest and dearest. Her stranger was her solace.

All his stagnant thoughts blew away when the responsive person on the other side giggled and asked, “Can I share a secret?”

“Please do” He was actually captivated by the lady’s nature with no layers, she projected what she was.

“You know my favorite song is Jhuma Chumma De De and I still dance to it following Amitabh’s footsteps whenever I am alone” she broke into a peal of laughter.

“Now can I tell you a secret of mine?” he asked in his still spellbound voice.

“Go on mate”

“You sure you won’t share this with anyone or pull my leg?” he asked with a mock sincerity.

“Cross my heart and hope to die, now tell me, am all ears.”

“My favorite heroine is Mandakini” he splurged out as quickly as a flash of lightning.

“WHAAAAAT?????”  “WHOOOOOO?” She couldn’t control her convulsed laughter and was choking with tears.

“But Why?” she could manage between the hiccups.

“Don’t laugh you rude woman, see that’s why I didn’t want to share” he carried his charade in a mock hurt tone.

“You can dance to Jhuma Chumma but Mandakini cant be my favorite?” a hurt voice resonated.

“Awww I am sorry. But why? This is not a normal choice. Now c’mon come up with the secret reason,” she goaded him playfully.

“You know” he started quite abashedly, “When Ram Teri Ganga Maili released I was a teenager and I can’t forget that scene Mandakini taking bath under this waterfall in a white saree, oh God that scene still gives me goosebumps.

I have seen that movie nineteen times just to watch that scene.”

“You men are all the same, sexist with a capital S.”

“Hey stranger now you don’t get angry, that scene was shot so aesthetically, Raj Kapoor was a genius bro.” He tried to show his artistic bent of mind.

“So Mandakini huh?” she started laughing. “Then how many Mandakini you have tried to woo in your life till date?”

“No stranger, hard luck there, I am not very good at wooing women. They hardly take notice of me.”

Both these strangers thought both of them are in alignment with each other, it didn’t take much to galvanize them.

Months went by and both their lives changed. The usual monotony in which they were both hedged in gave way to a new chapter in their lives. They could talk about everything and anything and they still didn’t know each other’s names. They were still strangers in social order.

Such an allegory of life, they called each other STRANGER, yet they knew each other like they have been soul mates, born from the same umbilical cord. They were the two strangest of strangers.

Does a relationship actually need a name or it’s just us who try to categorize them? Do we even need to know names, profession, marital status, the brand of car one drives, the city or country in which one lives, et al to forge a friendship?

What is real friendship?

Friendship is an emotion devoid of any such worldly parameters; it’s a chord which binds two hearts who may be residing in two different parts of the globe.

These two strangers defied all these worldly wise norms and were happily ensconced in their own small world where emotions reigned supreme.

Whenever one found the other online, their WhatsApp chats became longer than a novel.

“I had a bad day at work” he sulked.

“But why?”

“The Board of Directors didn’t quite like my PPT slides, now again I will have to sit and change them.”

“So instead of chatting with me why don’t you carry on with your work?” She asked, a bit skeptically.

“Stranger you are my energy pill, if I don’t chat with you how will I get back to work.” He couldn’t see the effacing smile on the other side. To him, she was the stranger who occupied his soul.

“Achha tell me what went wrong? They didn’t approve the entire presentation?”

“No re, some five or six slides have to be furnished with some extra statistical data and tally them. My executive assistant, I tell you is more inclined towards the latest trending fashion, have to teach her a thing or two tomorrow,” answered a grumpy voice.

“Your EA is a lady?”

“Yes, why”, he asked casually.

“Nah just like that.” covetousness changed the modulation of her tone.

“Okay it is almost 12, go to sleep, tomorrow you and your EA have to do important stuff, okay bye.”

She became offline. After a lot of turning and tossing in bed, she took her phone to check any new messages, “Stranger jealous? Now don’t bite your lip that is a bad habit. She is just my EA yaar, and gets firing from me every day. Now tell me why you were jealous?”

Before she could keep the phone aside, he became online. “Caught you” he laughed loudly in his deep soul-stirring voice.

“Who said I was jealous? You imagine things and then”

“And then what? I catch you off guard?” He sounded deeply impassioned, “Hey I know, you don’t have to put your feelings in words.

Now sleep or tomorrow you will complain you have bags under your eyes because of me.” He lightened up the situation. “Can I ask you something stranger?” she asked with a sudden far reaching sober intonation.

“Ask” “What are we doing with each other’s lives?”

“We are stealing time from life to be with each other”.

One such night they were engrossed discussing their wildest fantasies.

“You tell me,” he asked, “Then I will tell you mine.”

“But don’t laugh okay.”

“Roger That Madam, now start.”

“I want to sit in a sea beach all through the night with waves coming and kissing my feet, with the inflorescence of paragon of twinkling stars creating a mystical ambiance, untamed flurry of air whispering in my hair, telling a tale of love so passionate, so romantic that tears are forming in my eyes.

The sound of the waves creating a symphony like the God of music is playing his violin, falling into the perfect rhythm. The moon above is washing me away in its soft gleaming radiance. Suddenly there is a change of plan in Olympia, it seemed Zeus and Poseidon were at loggerheads again. A violent tempest rose in the otherwise cool sea, the waves reached great heights; the storm violated and shook the earth as if Poseidon was pointing his trident up from Olympia.

The feral fierce hurricane attacked me and just then I see a Man dressed like Apollo with his avant-garde charm slowly coming towards me and picked me up in his arms and”

“Okay now let me complete the rest of the fantasy” He intervened.

She was so lost in her cherished fantasy, she quieted herself and a spell was cast as he started.

“Your Apollo comes near you, draws you near his beating pulsating heart and picks you up gently in his strong arms. There is a small hut thatched with hay roof nearby and Apollo carries you there, all these while he looks down at your fear-stricken face and that lock of hair which has fallen on your forehead fills him with a feeling untold unspoken, your face is a vision to your Apollo’s peeper and he can’t take his eyes off your lovely exquisite veneer.

He covers you with both his arms so that not a twig of fallen branches of trees can touch your soft skin. You are dressed in all white and your silver bangles are casting back brilliant luster each time there is a meteoric expedition in the sky.

Your silver jhumkas are ouevreing the sweetest possible tinkling melody as if Athena is playing her instrument.

The swell of breeze covers Apollo’s face with the flowing pallu of your saree and he slowly removes it to see you blushing scarlet.

They reached the hut, a fire was lit, they both were trembling in the piercing numbing cold, the raw sharp wind has reached its peak and in anger, Zeus hurled his infamous thunderbolt.

You were white as a sheet and your Apollo took you in his arms, kissing the top of your head gently and you looked up with all the docility in the world. Oh, that lock of unruly hair again and this time Apollo blew a kiss to that lock of hair and put it back to its place.”

There was a tranquil peaceful silence on both the ends and they realized both their fantasies have mired and trammeled into one, without typing one more word; they became offline, both at the same time.

She knew who the Apollo was and he knew he has just expressed his desire.

But is it possible to be so much in sync with each other, without even knowing names, social background, absolutely nothing? How did he imagine she had long hair? How did he know I love white and silver accessories are my favorites? The questions kept haunting them all night.

Another night and they decided they would elope to Las Vegas, get drunk, wasted, sloshed and would end up marrying like Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz in ‘’What Happens in Vegas” and their laughter together on this imagination was so pure and undiluted.

 She talked and he listened, He confided and she locked the secrets in her heart.

Both of them were beaming with exuberance, drunk with a forbidden liquor of first love, a giddy feeling intoxicated them leaving them high.

A night came and he knew he had to bid adieu to her, he was leaving for Newark for five years on an official assignment and his heart was broken, a complete state of dysphoria. He broke the news with as much poignancies as he could muster to her dismal heart. She took the news with a sinking feeling, her heart crying out in forlorn.

Two grieving hearts were anguished and rued but no one tried to stop the other one, as if in agreement the melancholy spoke in its own dialect which only they could comprehend. The time came for the strangers to part ways.

And time is the eternal enemy of love; the conversation halted the tête-à-tête came to an end.

‘’You don’t know my name, neither did you ask, how would know if next time I call? Although I will text you my new number from this old number” He asked.

“I have saved your number as Dear Stranger and next time this Stranger calls we shall pick up the strings in accordance with the same harmony just the way we are leaving it today. Goodbye Stranger.”

They both disconnected at the same time.

Hey, readers do you think this encounter will lead to another scandalous extramarital affair? Or will this encounter will leave a new lease of life to two bored to death souls? Or will this encounter lead to a bond of solid friendship between two strangers sharing every miniscule detail of their lives henceforth?

Let me know what do you think of HIM and HER. Do you want the strangers to complete their incomplete romance? Write your views in the comment section below.

Soumi Bhattacharya
I am an archer by birth. Adventure, fun, and positivity come naturally to me. Writing has always been my call. I have done MBA from Manipal University, and also hold a masters degree in Commerce from Annamalai University. The writer within me never let me sit peacefully during my Corporate days. Finally, I answered the call and took up writing as a career. Writing rejuvenates me and sets me free. My husband is my best friend and biggest critic. My eight years old bundle of joy is my greatest responsibility.

Must Read

why are bearded men sexier

Why Are Bearded Men Sexier?

If I ask you what do Abraham Lincoln, Che Guevara, Charles Darwin, and Fidel Castro have in common? On a funny note, my reply...
time travel fiction

A Time Traveler’s Diary

anjum baba

Pain Never Fails

A Star Is Born